Fallout by Sadie Jones
It is not often that I put a book down and instantly forget about the male characters, remembering only the females. ‘Fallout’ is this book, it will do it furtively, you will not realise until the very last word that you have been completely consumed by these women.
Nina was abandoned as a child by her parents, her world becoming damaged and distorted. She becomes a puppet on the strings of her returned mother, her acting career and the men in her life. Leigh also knows of abandonment by a wayward, adulterous father. Her response is to become a strong willed feminist, resolute on never living the same life that befell her mother.
As the backdrops change and the storylines twist and turn, the truths of these women begin to emerge. Love, lust, power and money are the root of this transition. The more Nina is mentally destroyed by the man she marries, the more hardened to the world she becomes. Her innocence is lost and replaced by a game of power, lust and money.
This is played out to the detriment of the relationship with her lover, the only person to ever truly love her. Her feminist counterpart, Leigh, allows her fear of true love and abandonment to push her into a relationship of convenience. We sadly watch her lose her lust, her passion for the work she loves and her strength in order to maintain a life she thinks she should be living.
For both Nina and Leigh, the abandonment they experienced as children comes to the surface in their relationships with men. They react in different ways but it is this that always has a control over them. In the final chapters, we see the women come full circle.
Leigh regains her power, she leaves her partner and forms a new life and career for herself. This brings her back into the arms of the person she belonged with all along. She always had this true strength inside her. Nina stays with her husband, she accepts her fate and therefore loses the only man she truly loved. She never possessed enough real strength to being with, the power she thought she had was merely an image she created.
These are unforgettable women. They evict emotions in us, deep intrusions into our souls. We question our own fears, situations and actions. These women and this book will stay with you for a long time. Not every book will tear an emotional hole in you, this one will.
Buy Fallout here